After such a kind and fittingly exaggerated introduction article the other day, I figured I should pop my Nation cherry by telling you a little bit about how I got here.
The past few years of hockey have been nothing short of a disaster: a 2011 back surgery, a failed comeback, a season off to rehab, an NHL lockout and finally another failed comeback that ended with yet another season ending injury.
When the only athlete to attempt more comebacks than you is Brett Favre it’s time to shut er down. The heart was still in it, but the body appears to of had enough. I’m fortunate and thankful to of played as long as I did, and very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
There’s no better place to start then the Nation.
(Wanye note: Nice pic Suds. Great shoes, classic pose. If I had a picture like this from my childhood I would have it tattooed on my back in 2/8 scale)
I was born and raised in E town, growing up an Oilers fan like everyone else but the minute I was drafted that had to go out the window. I like beer, donairs and yelling about hockey. I’m told with that kind of resume, I should be able to fit in around here.
Here now is my take from my first 3 days on the job.
High heels are very uncomfortable. Tight pants and dresses are awesome.
I attended the Bears Oilers rookie game. I thought Nurse looked young, and that’s ok because that’s what he is. Early in the game he looked a little tentative in his own end and coughed up the biscuit a few times. As the game wore on he looked more comfortable and had a few nice rushes.
It was a limited glance, but his offensive instincts and skating ability for a kid his size were noticeable and of course I liked his mean streak. He jumped right into a scrum at the end of the first period and that seemed to loosen him up a bit. After that he seemed to find his game. It will be fun to keep an eye on him as camp goes along.
Everything you see and hear about this guy is impressive. It’s a refreshing hybrid I would think, for a young team to grow and learn from “players” coaches the last several years to a guy that is going to demand results and pull no punches, while not quite jumping to the land of Mike Keenan.
It would appear he has a real grasp of managing his players individually and wanting to find out what makes each of them tick. I had the privilege of facing the Marlies and an Eakins coached team 4 times last year and I can tell you they were awesome games. We lost every single one and all of them had a playoff type feel. Not a ton of fights, maybe one or two, but scrums and intensity galore.
They made you work for every inch. I can only assume the Oilers will be a much harder team to play against this year.
After seeing photos of 37 year old Ryan Smyth with tubes all over his face and hearing about this 3 minute death skating drill I can honestly say I do not miss the opening of training camp one bit.
Who’s got a doughnut for me?